Thursday, November 06, 2008

Moms Make It Happen...

In the most practical ways. Our lives are about meeting basic needs in a timely manner. That can lead to a rut of the deepest kind but with a little shift in thinking, it can be a great blessing. God has equipped us for the work we are to do. If we fight and struggle against it, that is our own to deal with. But if we look at the big picture of what it means to be a woman under Christ, we are called to serve and in specific ways.

There is no doubt that Christians are called to follow Christ. And what did Christ do but meet basic needs in a timely manner while revealing great Truths?

In 1 Timothy 5 verse 9 and following, Paul is giving his instructions for how widows should be classified, cared for and recognized. The requirements are what struck me and as I listed out what an older widow's life should look like, he lists many things that she should have been engaged in over the years. Apart from being faithful in marriage, the fruits of her life should be:

-raising children (i know not all women have this opportunity)
-giving food to strangers
-welcoming God's people into her home
-helping people in need
-always making herself useful

All practical things, all doable, right? This list resonates with me because within this list, you see a lot of what Proverbs 31, the benchmark of a Godly woman, illuminates as well. We are seeing God's wiring of women put into practice and that is a blessed thing!

When we fall into the trap of feeling invisible or useless or a glorified maid (I was going to say servant but that's kind of the point, right?), we need to pray that the Lord would open up to us an opportunity to practice these practical applications and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Raising children - One day I prayed that the Lord would help me to enjoy being with my kids and not feel burdened by them wanting to play, wanting food, wanting attention...wanting, wanting, wanting. I found myself getting overly frustrated b/c they kept interrupting my tidying, reading, chores, etc. You know what the Holy Spirit said to me in that moment? "Be in the midst of them". That was big, real big. Jesus was in the midst of a bunch of dirty, needy, clingy folks and He loved them. So, now when I feel myself pulled to my computer or the need to cleaning all day for my own sanity or just to eat lunch by myself, I hear that voice remind me to "be in the midst of them".

Giving food to strangers - I'm not sure I've done this to the fullness of it being an absolute stranger. I know that one way I try to flesh this out is to find someone that would be blessed by a meal. Aren't there just days that you wish you just didn't have to think about making dinner? I think about those women who are single moms, working moms or moms that have chronically ill kids. They are always in demand and truly do need some respite. It was a blessing for me to provide them with the chance to sit and enjoy food that they didn't have to prepare. I would challenge you to find a gal that you could do this for. It will speak volumes to her and to you. And imagine what a great way to serve someone you don't really know! I trust that if you ask the Lord to show you someone, a name will come flying to your mind in a second!

Welcoming God's people into her home - I love Cottage Living magazine. I devour that thing when it comes and find myself swept up into the world of restoring, redecorating...and refinancing if we were to undertake even a fraction of the stuff these folks do. But, the point is, my house is my home, my domain. I take pride in it when it is clean and border on insanity when it's not. I get tripped up in the idea that everybody else has a better house than I do and that I am to be pitied b/c I haven't got the house of my dreams. Yeah, that's my coveting coming through loud and clear. The Lord and I are working on that, but in the meantime, He has shaped and encouraged my idea of house vs. home. My hospitality, or willingness to welcome His people into my house, is what make it a home. I want to create a space that glorifies God because my door is open for fellowship.

Helping people in need - I just finished a book called Jim and Casper Go to Church. A guy hires an atheist to go with him to some "popular" churches around the country to get his feedback. The overwhelming thing I walked away with is that this non-believer wants to see Christians following Christ literally in serving others, especially the poor and needy. I think Jesus talked something about the world knowing we are His by the love we show...I know this doesn't come naturally to me b/c it's just a tad too uncomfortable for me but I know that being made uncomfortable is what faith in Christ is about. Faith without works is dead? Yeah, it's hit home and is stirring up some action in my heart.

Always making herself useful - I tie this to a few verses later when Paul is speaking about younger widows and why they shouldn't be added to the list to be provided for. He encourages Timothy to encourage them to marry again because: "...they will become lazy and get into the habit of going from house to house. Next, they will start gossiping and become busybodies, talking about things that are none of their business." We kind of have a problem with some of that, right? So if we are making ourselves useful, we bless others and don't give the devil a foothold. I'm still processing this one. I think it's a practice that grows out of wisdom.

I wanted to put all of this down because I think we should be encouraged by how the Lord has made us to do these good works but also to be corrected in our thinking, self-pity and laziness. We are servants, plain and simple. We serve a most High God that carefully and thoughtfully equipped us for what He has called us to do.

Bless you!
sim

6 comments:

baldone said...

Incredible blessing!

Matt Casper said...

"Faith without works is dead? Yeah, it's hit home and is stirring up some action in my heart."

I think that's awesome, and I thank you for reading and writing about our book...

Matt Casper

Amanda said...

I loved every word of this post. Good to read your writing again my friend.

olivia and henry said...

i love this, sim!!!!! what a great and encouraging word. you have such an incredible way of expressing your thoughts in writing! i am so thankful for you. i love you, ang

The Russ Family said...

welcome back simri, i've missed your insight and straight forward discussions about things we don't like to admit. love it!

Stephanie in AK said...

Thanks for encouraging me. With a three, two, and four month old, I rarely let myself "be in the midst of them." I'm usually living for nap time.